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Travel vaccinations

If you're planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world.

Although in the UK, the childhood vaccination programme protects you against a number of diseases it doesn't however cover most of the infectious diseases found overseas. If you are planning on travelling outside the UK for work or pleasure, there is a possibility that you may need to be vaccinated or may require a booster for previously administered vaccinations. Please contact us as soon as you find out you are travelling as some vaccinations are compulsory for travel into some countries as per visa requirements and other vaccinations are required to be spread out over a period of time to ensure all boosters are administered before travelling. It is essential that you receive the right treatment so that you are covered for your trip.

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Which jabs do I need?

You can find out which vaccinations are necessary or recommended for the areas you'll be visiting on these two websites:

Some countries will specifically require a certificate for proof of vaccination against certain diseases for visa requirements For example; Saudi Arabia requires proof of vaccination for meningitis ACWY for visitors arriving for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

Many tropical countries in Africa and South America won't accept travellers from an area where there's yellow fever unless they can prove they've been vaccinated against it. Therefore an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) will be required in order to enter.

Things to consider

There are several things to consider when planning your travel vaccinations, including:

  • The country or countries you're visiting – some diseases are more common in certain parts of the world and less common in others
  • When you're travelling – some diseases are more common at certain times of the year; for example, during the rainy season
  • Where you're staying – in general, you'll be more at risk of disease in rural areas than in urban areas, and if you're backpacking and staying in hostels or camping, you may be more at risk than if you were on a package holiday and staying in a hotel
  • How long you'll be staying – the longer your stay, the greater your risk of being exposed to diseases
  • Your age and health – some people may be more vulnerable to infection than others, while some vaccinations can't be given to people with certain medical conditions
  • What you'll be doing during your stay – for example, whether you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors, such as trekking or working in rural areas
  • If you're working as an aid worker – you may come into contact with more diseases if you're working in a refugee camp or helping after a natural disaster
  • If you're working in a medical setting – for example, a doctor or nurse may require additional vaccinations
  • If you are in contact with animals – in this case, you may be more at risk of getting diseases spread by animals, such as rabies

If possible, see your travel pharmacist at least six weeks before you're due to travel to ensure vaccinations including any multiple dose boosters are given well in advance to allow your body to develop immunity.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Speak to our Pharmacist before having any vaccinations if:

  • you're pregnant
  • you think you might be pregnant
  • you're breastfeeding

Your pharmacist will be able to give you further advice about this.

Non-travel vaccines

As well as getting any travel vaccinations you need, it's also a good opportunity to make sure your other vaccinations are up-to-date and have booster jabs if necessary. Your travel pharmacist can check your existing vaccination records in order to determine this. People in certain risk groups may be offered extra vaccines against diseases such as Hepatitis B, MMR, Flu and PPV.

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